Shiraz Bayjoo

Workforce: artist Shiraz Bayjoo employs the public

INIVA 17 September - 21 November 2009

Artist Shiraz Bayjoo transformed Rivington Place's Education Space into a temporary artist-run factory, making it the setting for a new workforce in response to exhibitions by NS Harsha and Chen Chieh-jen. Workforce recreated the collectivising demand of industry as governments call their workforce to mobilise and unite under a common cause, that of nation building. Continuing the legacy of union banners and other collective symbols such as the red flag, Bayjoo brought his workers together beneath the banner of his artistic product. The project playfully considered the roles of individual and collective identities, the relationships and communities formed in labour forces and the questions that arise in participating within an identity that is factory worker.


The artistic product is a communal flag manufactured by the free labour of the workforce. The flag filled the expanse of the gallery, representing the identity of the workforce and contributing to the history of industry's alliances.

261 workers contributed over 1000 hours of free labour.


Work Force Contributors:

Sundial Centre, HEEBA womens social enterprise, Daubney Primary School, Shackewell Primary School, Nueva Generacion, St. Pauls Way Secondary School and the general public.


Audio contributors:

Dr Christine Checinska, Angela McRobbie and Janis Jefferies (from 'Unstitched: in conversation' at Iniva), 7 Oct 2009.

Mohammad Choudhury (Textiles machinist from East London), Lorraine (Couture designer), HEEBA womens social enterprise.

All rights belong to the artist © 2016